Congressmen don't have to read bills, so what makes you think the president has to sign them? 

Politico takes on the Obama administration's insistence that the president need not actually sign bills in order to make them law:

The Constitution, unsurprisingly, makes no mention of autopens or robo-signing. It says that a bill “shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it.” However, Obama aides point to a 2005 opinion from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel that concluded that, despite the Constitution’s requirements, a bill need not be physically presented to the president or actually signed by him to become law.

The Justice Department opinion takes 29 pages to conclude that “sign” doesn’t mean literally sign and “presented” doesn’t mean literally presented. It also relies on (horrors!) foreign law from 1614 to conclude that these terms are more flexible than they might appear. (A portion of the opinion is still secret.)

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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